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Chemical Handling: Corrosion Resistant Tanks and Vessels

corrosion resistant tanksFRP are utilized worldwide for applications in chlorine, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, biological transformation, fertilizer, petrochemical, and mining and mineral plants. In general terms they have been employed successfully in many chemical processes such as separation, filtration, settling (sedimentation), extraction or leaching, distillation, recrystallization or precipitation, drying, and adsorption.

In the Chemical Processing Industry (CPI) FRP are utilized to fabricate a full spectrum of products including pipes, ductwork, chemical storage tanks, absorption towers, drying towers, solvent extraction vessels, gas scrubbers, packed reaction columns, pressure vessels, process reaction vessels, stacks, process containment equipment, packing support systems, packed bed distributors, bed limiters, and distributor feed headers- to list some examples.

Each service environment is unique and requires special attention to engineering considerations. Special considerations such as concentration, temperature, pressure, vacuum will need to be addressed to ensure that the product being fabricated is optimized to enhance its performance and meet your specifications. To a large degree your service environment and specifications will influence many important design elements such as resin selection, laminate schedule and corrosion barrier.

A Short List of Some FRP Chemical Applications:

  • Diammonium Phosphates
  • Ammonia
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Chlorine
  • Sodium Hypochlorite

The corrosion barrier is typically fabricated with a resin-rich liner or corrosion barrier, followed by a glass-rich structural wall. The corrosion barrier is one component of the entire laminates schedule; it is a critical layer that must be designed properly in order to ensure effectiveness, safety and performance of your FRP product. You should always discuss resin selection with a resin manufacturer or your engineering team.

Although the corrosion liner does not provide much in terms of mechanical properties it’s extremely important to the overall design of your composite product.

Among the many products that can be fabricated from FRP are corrosion resistant tanks and vessels.  Corrosion resistant FRP tanks and vessels are well known for their cost-effectiveness, long-life cycles, electrical insulation properties, high strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability, and their design flexibility. Furthermore, the corrosion resistance performance of FRP is exceptional when compared with traditional or common metal alloys such as stainless steel 2205 and alloy C-2706. This holds true in common chemical processing service environments—FRP performs well in hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acids—among many others.

FRP Corrosion Resistant Tank and Vessels Chemical Processing Applications

Tanks:

  • Batching
  • Electrowinning
  • Fuel
  • Plating
  • Pickling
  • Processing
  • Recovery
  • Remediation
  • Storage
  • Transfer
  • Waste
  • Effluent

Vessels:

  • Solvent Extraction Vessels
  • Process Reaction Vessels
  • Pressure Vessels

When designed properly FRP can provide excellent high-temperature capabilities and solvent resistance.  Depending on resin selection and other design factors unique characteristics may be enhanced.  In general, FRP withstand many acids, alkalis and oxidizing chemicals.

The constructability and design flexibility make FRP ideal for a multitude of CPI opportunities such as plant construction, process expansions, unit and equipment additions, upgrades, conversions, modernizations, rebuilds, renovations, retrofits, debottlenecks, and major maintenance turnarounds.

FRP Applications for Common Fracking Chemicals

Within the Fracking Industry there are many opportunities for FRP applications.  For example, chemical storage, containment, handling, transport, and batching—to name a few.  Whether you are working with breakers, clay stabilizers, acids, corrosion inhibitors, acids, biocides, crosslinkers, friction reducers, scale inhibitors, pH adjusting agents or gelling agents—chances are FRP products (i.e. tanks, vessels, pipe etc.) can be designed to meet your service requirements and job specifications. 

Here is a short list of common fracking chemicals, all of which FRP can be employed.

FRP Applications for Common Fracking Chemicals

Chemical Name CAS Chemical Purpose Product Function
Hydrochloric Acid 007647-01-0 Helps dissolve minerals and initiate cracks in the rock Acid
Calcium Chloride 010043-52-4 Product Stabilizer Breaker
Ammonium Persulfate 007727-54-0 Allows a delayed break down of the gel Breaker
Sodium Chloride 007647-14-5 Prevents clays from swelling or shifting Clay Stabilizer
Isopropyl Alcohol 000067-63-0 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent Surfactant
Formic Acid 000064-18-6 Prevents the corrosion of the pipe Corrosion Inhibitor
Boric Acid 001333-73-9 Maintains fluid viscosity as temperature increases Crosslinker
Ethylene Glycol 000107-21-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent Gelling Agent
Acetic Acid 000064-19-7 Prevents precipitation of metal oxides Iron Control
Potassium Hydroxide 001310-58-3 Adjusts the pH of fluid to maintains the
effectiveness of other components, such as crosslinkers
pH Adjusting Agent
Potassium Carbonate 000584-08-7 Adjusts the pH of fluid to maintains the effectiveness of other components, such as crosslinkers pH Adjusting Agent
Naphthalene 000091-20-3 Carrier fluid for the active surfactant ingredients Surfactant

Of course the type of resin you choose as well as other design considerations such as operating temperature, pressure, vacuum, concentration of chemicals will need to be considered before engineering your product. 

In general, isophthalic and vinyl ester resins are suitable for a wide range of conventional and custom FRP applications.  Their ability to withstand a multitude of chemical applications and their unique properties are directly related to their chemistry.

Isophthalic resins have a high- molecular weight, thermosetting resins offer superior physical and corrosion resistance properties in stringent harsh environments.  Similarly, vinyl ester resins are versatile and are able to retain many of the qualities epoxies typically posses, such as tensile strength, elongation, fatigue resistance, and good alkali and oxidizing chemical resistance.

Beyond the twelve chemical applications listed above there are more—literally thousands more.  There are opportunities everywhere and FRP offers many benefits including cost-effectiveness and corrosion/abrasion resistance.  Additional chemical applications can be found in many resin manufacturer guides.

Because each job has unique requirements please contact Beetle Plastics or a resin manufacturer regarding specific design specifications. We will work with you to ensure that our products meet your expectations in terms of both quality and service. Our custom FRP products are high quality, easy to install and have long life cycles.

Fiberglass Pipes and Fittings for a Chlorine Processing Plant

fiberglass pipes and fittingsWhen an international client came to us needing pipes and fittings for a chlorine processing facility, we knew could help them.

In addition to intimate knowledge of the international industry standards, we needed to come up with a solution that could handle wet chlorine gas and other corrosive materials. One of the advantages of working with FRP is that it can be formulated to be extremely corrosion resistant. This capability made FRP the ideal material for meeting this customers’ needs.

To see how we integrated corrosion resistant piping with our customers existing plant infrastructure, download the full case study by clicking the button below:  

What is an FRP Corrosion Barrier?

frp corrosion barrierFiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) are well known for their abrasion and corrosion resistant properties. FRP are a composite material; they combine two or more different constituents into a one unique material; resins and fibers combine to yield a finished composite product. Fibers contribute the majority of the strength to finished product while resins provide corrosion resistance and channel stress to the fibers. There are two broad families of resins—thermosetting and thermoplastic. In the case of fiberglass and FRP we are referring to thermosetting resins.  Thermosetting resins cure to produce an infusible material that does not melt when heated.  Conversely, thermoplastic materials have a definite melting point.

Many different laminate types make up a custom laminate schedule. For example the Mat Layer laminate type is commonly used because it creates an excellent structural reinforcement, good wet out characteristics, sufficient clarity to observe entrained defects; various glass fiber mats are selected depending on the application and service conditions. Other examples of laminate types are corrosion barrier, inner wall and structural wall.  In addition, there are multiple laminate construction methods such as contact molded, filament wound, vacuum infusion, centrifugal, and pultrusion—to name a few. 

The corrosion barrier, also sometimes referred to as the corrosion liner, is typically a combination of one or multiple plies of resin-saturated C glass or synthetic veil against the process surface, followed by two or more plies of mat.  Each resin rich layer acts as a defense against chemical attack; generally speaking layers vary from 75%-90% resin by weight, however formulations may vary depending on design specifications.  For example, the corrosion barrier and structural layer will vary in thickness depending on the intended use (i.e. aggressive chemical environments and elevated temperatures).

Typical Functions of the Corrosion Barrier

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Chemical resistance

Although it is not always the case high quality FRP products are generally made using polyester or vinyl ester resins which posses great thermal, physical and corrosion resistance properties.  You should always discuss resin selection with a resin manufacturer or your engineering team.  Corrosion liner or barrier considerations and resin selection are extremely important to the overall design of your composite product.

Fiberglass Corrosion Resistance and the Mining Industry

Corrosion is an inevitable part of the human experience; presently, approximately 44% of the world’s population lives within 150 kilometers of the coast, more than the entire world’s population in 1950. While corrosion has historically been defined as the destructive oxidation of metallic materials, recent definitions include the degradation of any material and its intended loss of function by exposure to and interaction with its environment.

Corrosion can result from a wide range of conditions and thus can be characterized many different ways. For example, corrosion in the mining industry is often characterized as corrosion enhanced by abrasion—this is especially true for pipe and pumping systems used in many mining/milling processes. It’s also important to note, the wide range of conditions that can cause corrosion, and because mine atmospheres and waters are unique and vary from one location to the next, make each corrosion related problem difficult to plan for. This particular type of challenge makes material selection a critical component of most corrosion management strategies.

Fiber Reinforced Polymers in the Mining Industry

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP), or fiberglass, is an excellent construction material. Used throughout the world in a wide range of industrial and non-industrial applications, FRP boasts cost-effectiveness, design flexibility, dimensional stability, high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and low maintenance costs—among other things. FRP products have been employed effectively in a diversity of applications, including pulp and paper, chemical processing, power generation, wastewater management, desalination, aerospace, architectural, food and beverage, and mining and minerals—among much else.

In the mining industry there are many types of corrosion that plague equipment and infrastructure, but in many cases it is characterized as corrosion enhanced by abrasion. FRP continues to gain in popularity as a material solution for pump and piping systems in the mining and mineral industries.

Click the button below to read the whitepaer and learn how fiberglass is perfectly suited for managing corrosive materials used in mining operations.

Unique FRP Design Offers Solution To Flash Freezing

frp designFiber Reinforced Polymers (FPR), or fiberglass, is an excellent construction material.  Used throughout the world in a wide range of industrial and non-industrial applications, FRP boasts cost-effectiveness, design flexibility, dimensional stability, high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and low maintenance costs—among other things. 

FRP has gotten a lot of positive attention lately for other benefits; FRP is corrosion and abrasion resistant and smoke and flame retardant.  An often glossed over advantage of FRP is its versatility; it can be made into nearly any shape—which comes in handy when designing for solutions that require a complex design, one that includes electronics, for example.

In the mining industry there are many types of corrosion that plague equipment and infrastructure, but in many cases it is characterized as corrosion enhanced by abrasion.  FRP continues to gain in popularity as a material solution for pump and piping systems in the mining and mineral industries.  In large part this is because FRP pipe can be formulated to resist abrasion and many types of corrosion; FRP will resist pitting, crevice, intergranular, galvanic, and cavitation types of corrosion, for example.

Equally important are the non-corrosive problems that exist in mining and plant operation.  One such well-documented problem exists when conveying coal from stockpile to boiler or around the mine site during frigid winter months.  Known throughout the industry as “flash freezing,” the problem begins anytime coal being transported or stored, picks up moisture, via snow or rain and comes into contact with metal that is at sub-freezing temperatures for extended periods of time.  When wet or frozen coal comes into contact with steel or other alloys at sub-freezing temperatures an instantaneous bond is formed. 

Flash freezing is a mining and plant operation problem that has been known to shut down production due to blocked conveyors, chutes and hoppers; a costly problem that in some cases requires pneumatic drilling to resolve.  One company has designed what they call a “Freeze Protection System” which consists of FRP heating panels.  The unique design incorporates a flat foil heating system, sewn into high quality woven glass and is encapsulated in a ¼” think lamination of FRP.  Units (panels) are placed around the chute, hopper, or silo and provide heat and insulation—alleviating flash freezing.

This is just one example of how FRP design intelligence and ingenuity is helping to solve industrial problems.  This example illustrates what is possible with FRP.  There is no question that FRP technology is increasing, but the question remains—how will it be employed in the future and what capacity?  In the case of “flash freezing” in the mining industry, what other ways can FRP be utilized to increase production?  Could FRP products replace steel transport cars?  Similarly, with a low coefficient of friction and good insulation properties could an FRP liner be used inside steel cars or dump tucks?

One thing is for certain; FRP is cost-effective material that continues to be used where other materials fall short.  FRP is a juggernaut; it has the ability to withstand the harshest most extreme environments and has long unmatched life cycles. While some problems may be less pervasive than others, or beckon a more niche solution, there is no denying that there are real opportunities for FRP manufactures. 

From mining and minerals, power generation, and chemical processing to pulp and paper, wastewater treatment and architectural—fiberglass is a durable construction material that has proven it’s worth, time and time again.

International Corrosion Awareness Day

international corrosion awareness dayApril 24, 2013 marks the date of the fourth annual International Corrosion Awareness Day, started by the World Corrosion Organization; who’s mission is to promote education and best practices in corrosion control for the socio-economic benefit of society, preservation of resources, and protection of the environment.

Founded in 2006 by the Australasian Corrosion Association, the Chinese Society for Corrosion and Protection, the European Federation of Corrosion, and NACE International, the WCO is an international association of societies and organizations involved with corrosion management and control. In July of 2010 the World Corrosion Organization (WCO) was granted Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status by the United Nations Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) Section.

According to “Now is the Time,” a paper released by the World Corrosion Organization in the U.S. alone corrosion is a 2.2 trillion dollar problem that isn’t going away.  According to George F. Hays, PE, Director General, the WCO believes that “We are at a unique point, when the tools and resources are all in place to match our needs and help us meet our goals. Now is the time to make government agencies, industry, and the public aware of the high cost of corrosion – to our environment, our resources, and humankind.”

The primary goals of world corrosion awareness day and the WCO are:

  • To raise public awareness of corrosion and corrosion control:  To develop and implement a Corrosion Awareness Day that is recognized worldwide in the way we recognize Earth Day. A worldwide Corrosion Awareness Day will help create public awareness of corrosion and what the public – individuals – can do to control it.
  • To identify world best practices in corrosion management:  To identify what are the best practices; that is, those practices which should always be used by the industrialized world. However, in many parts of the world, countries lack the resources to put in place what the industrialized world agrees are best practices and determine what would be the best practices most suitable for their socio-economic conditions.
  • To facilitate the provision of corrosion control expertise to governments, industries, and communities:  To work with the International Corrosion Council to make this information available particularly in the developing world.
  • To normalize corrosion-related standards worldwide:  To harmonize the standards that are already in use.

Moving forward, it is clear that Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) will play a critical role, helping to solve many corrosion related problems.  As a corrosion and abrasion resistant material, FRP is just one piece to the large and very complex corrosion puzzle, but the future is bright.  FRP is growing in popularity, replacing conventional construction materials including many metal alloys and is currently used throughout the world in chemical processing, power generation, pulp and paper, mining and minerals, coal, petrochemical, wastewater, and desalination

Corrosion in Soils: FRP is a Cost-Effective Alternative

Have you ever stopped to think about what is happening just below your feet under the soil?  The soil is teeming with life, literally.  Each tablespoon of soil contains billions of microorganisms—bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms.

Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) refers to corrosion that is influenced by the presence and activities of microorganisms and/or their metabolites (the byproducts of their metabolism).  Below the soil, bacteria, fungi and other organisms can play a major role in soil corrosion—for example, some anaerobic bacteria produce highly corrosive species as a part of their metabolism.  Similarly, aerobic bacteria produce corrosive mineral acids and fungi organic acids.

MIC is a serious concern for many industries.  According to the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) based in Houston, TX spectacularly rapid corrosion failures have been observed in soil due to microbial action and it is becoming increasingly apparent that most metallic alloys are susceptible to some form of MIC.

You may be asking yourself what is soil corrosion?  Soil corrosion is a complex phenomenon, with a wide range of variables at play—soil pH, soil type, soil resistivity, microorganism species composition and diversity, dissolved salts,  hydrology, redox potential, chlorate levels, sulfate levels, and mineral composition of the soil—to list some.  Like other forms of corrosion, it is a process that deteriorates substances, typically metal, or its properties because of its reaction with its environment.

The soil corrosion phenomenon is not fully understood largely due to the number of chemical reactions and ecosystem processes that occur in the soil involving the many existing variables.  Parallel to these ongoing chemical reactions are the dynamic changes of soil properties making this specific type of corrosion both elusive and detrimental to buried structures that are susceptible to corrosion. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) products such as pipe, duct, tank, and vessel can be formulated to be abrasion and corrosion resistant.  This is a huge advantage over metals and metal alloys that can be compromised and damaged by corrosion.

While corrosion as a naturally occurring phenomenon, and the science of corrosion prevention and control may be very complex, there are certain general rules or guidelines that have been formulated to help assist with determining possible outcomes for different types of corrosion. For example, all forms of corrosion with the exception of high-temperature corrosion occur through the action of the electrochemical cell.  To take it one step further, soils with high moisture content, high electrical conductivity, high acidity and high concentrations of dissolved salts will be most corrosive—generally speaking.  While these rules are helpful to decision makers and engineers, they do not solve the problem of corrosion below ground.

Soil corrosion is relevant to many industries.  Anytime you bury an object such as pipe, cable, vessels, or tank you are beginning a grand experiment with many different possible outcomes.  For example, the response of carbon steel to soil corrosion will depend on soil properties and other environmental factors; this will lead to different rates of deterioration or attack.  In some severe cases buried alloy vessels have been known to deteriorate in under one year while in arid desert regions metal objects may remain relatively unharmed.

While there are many questions that remain unanswered about soil corrosion, one thing remains clear—FRP is a material that has provided viable solutions to common corrosion problems.  FRP products have served a multitude of industries, the world over with a cost- effective durable alternative to conventional construction materials, such as metal alloys.

FRP products will withstand the harshest environments from wastewater management, chemical processing, and oil and gas.  Furthermore, FRP has performed exceptionally well below ground in a wide range of applications.  In design you really have two options: you can select a material that will lead you down the path of corrosion control management or you can choose an FRP product that is corrosion resistant and designed to meet you specific industry requirements and standards.

FRP Mining Solutions Solve Corrosion Problems

frp miningMany industries report major problems with corrosion each year. It’s a serious problem that can impact production and safety.  According to the World Corrosion Organization, the estimated cost of corrosion damage worldwide is 2.2 trillion dollars which is roughly 3%-4% of GDP of industrialized nations. 

The mining, mineral processing and extractive metallurgy industries posses the ingredients for an extremely corrosive environment—water, grinding media, dissimilar materials, oxygen, wide pH ranges, and the presence of many microorganisms that promote conditions for corrosion.  According to one corrosion study released by CC Technologies Laboratories, Inc., (Dublin, OH), it was estimated that an average of $93 million dollars was spent annually (1998 estimate) on maintenance painting of metal surfaces, to control corrosion in the coal mining industry.

Corrosion can result from a wide range of conditions and thus can be characterized many different ways.  For example, corrosion in the mining industry is often characterized as corrosion enhanced by abrasion—this is especially true for pipe and pumping systems used in many mining milling processes.  It’s also important to note, the wide range of conditions that can cause corrosion, and because mine atmospheres and waters are unique and vary from one location to the next, make each corrosion related problem difficult to plan for.  This particular type of challenge makes material selection a critical component of most corrosion management strategies.

According to that same study released by CC Technologies Laboratories Inc., which interviewed many engineers and mining professionals, material selection is the most important general form of corrosion prevention. It has been demonstrated many times over that choosing the correct material based on the environment decreases the amount of corrosion and lengthens the life span of the equipment

FRP abrasion and corrosion resistant pipe provide a cost effective material alternative to traditional metal alloys. FRP will not succumb to particulate abrasion or erosion and are often selected for their long life cycles and low maintenance costs.   Conversely, with traditional metal piping and pump systems the particulate erodes and removes the protective film of the metal and exposes the reactive alloy to high flow velocity, thus accelerating the corrosion mechanisms.

One corrosion related issue in the mining industry is that it limits the life span of the processing equipment. Specific areas of major concern due to personal safety and continuation of production include: wire rope, roof bolts, pump and piping systems, mining electronics, and acid mine drainage.  Similarly, acid mine drainage can cause corrosion problems with pipes, well screens, damns, bridges, water intakes and pumps.

Although protective coatings, corrosion inhibitors, and electrochemical techniques such as cathodic protection are valuable and useful ways to deal with corrosion—they are a short term fix.  For example, a 2-coat alkyd/no blasting (4 mil) coating on a metal surface may need touch-up yearly and replacement every two years.  Similarly, a 3-coat epoxy/with blasting (10 mil) will need touch-ups every 4 years and replacement after 8 years.  On the other hand, FRP have a well documented service life of 35+ years (in some cases more) in harsh corrosive environments throughout the world in mining and minerals, chemical processing, power generation, wastewater, desalination, and pulp and paper.

While FRP does not solve every material problem for every industry, it cannot be denied that it is a cost-effective material that performs exceptionally well in extremely harsh environments, including mining sites.  FRP offers design flexibility with constructability.

FRP can be formulated to be abrasion and corrosion resistant. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability, and offers superior durability—among much else.  Whether you are searching for a new design, material upgrade, or custom components that will interface with existing infrastructure or layout—FRP offer a multitude of benefits for many applications.

Choosing Corrosion Resistant Resin: 11 Things You Should Know

corrosion resistant resinFiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) use has grown tremendously over the past seven decades in oil and gas, chemical processing, pulp and paper, mining and minerals, wastewater treatment, water treatment, desalination, and power generation—to name a few.  One of the primary reasons FRP has gained so much traction is that it has superior corrosion resistance when compared to other construction materials such as stainless steels, carbon steels, titanium, aluminum, and nickel alloys.  That being said, there are a wide range of corrosive environments throughout many industries and as such special requirements must be taken into consideration when designing/formulating FRP to endure optimal performance. 

When requesting corrosion resistant resin recommendations for FRP equipment applications, users or specifiers should be prepared to supply the following data:

  1. All chemicals to which the equipment will be exposed: feedstocks, intermediates, products and by-products, waste materials, and cleaning chemicals
  2. Normal operating concentrations of chemicals, maximum and minimum concentrations (including trace amounts)
  3. pH range of the system
  4. Normal operating temperatures of the equipment, maximum and minimum temperatures
  5. Duration of normal, maximum  and upset operating temperatures
  6. Abrasion resistance and/or agitation requirements
  7. Equipment size
  8. Manufacturing methods
  9. Flame retardance requirements
  10. Thermal insulation requirements
  11. Vacuum Specifications
Source: Ashland Resin Selection Guide

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